Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Enjoying the Autumn Season: DIY and Crafts

     For those of you, who have been wondering what I've been doing lately here is your answer! I have been spending most of my time crafting. If you want to see more you can visit my other blog or my facebook page.



    You can also find some of my crafts in my online store. Just follow the link :)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Lazy sunny day


Enjoying a walk on a sunny day..


...at the village of Urovene, near Vratsa.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Autumn Farmers Market, Sofia

     Today's farmers market at Business Park Sofia was a very nice surprise. Although it was small, there were lots of quality products, which I couldn't resist buying! :)

     Bulgarian craft beer; seasonal vegetables, Bulgarian ceramic; home-made yogurt, spices, and natural home-made cosmetics are only a small part of the surprises that await you at the farmers' market.


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Upper Struma river valley, Vitosha


      Here is another perfect escape from the hot weather in Sofia. You will find it along the upper Struma river valley in Vitosha mountain, between the villages of Bosnek and Chuypetlovo. 

      Here are some interesting facts for the area:

  • Near the village of Bosnek, along the valley of "Dobri dol" river in the area called "Living water", you will find the dragon spring. You will see sings just at the end of the village. To reach the spring you just need to follow the road.
  • On the road between the two villages is located the entrance to the longest cave in Bulgaria, called "Duhlata". It was created by the underground currents of the Struma River. Unfortunately the access to the cave is restricted. It can be visited only by researchers or experienced cavers with permission by Vitosha Nature Park Directorate.

  • Chuypetlovo is the only settlement in the interior of Vitosha Mountain. It is situated at a medium altitude of 1225 m, which makes it the highest village in Vitosha.


Siesta time :)


Struma river:




Monday, July 18, 2016

Taste of Madrid...getting hungry :)


     Casa Mingo: The best grilled chicken and cider in town!



     Chocolateria San Gines: The best place to have ‪churros‬ with chocolate for the first time :)




     And last, but not least - a calamari sandwiches - Bar El Brillante in Plaza del Emperador Carlos V 8 (Atocha).


Saturday, July 2, 2016

"Dendrarium Vitosha"



    The term "Dendrarium" comes from the Greek word for tree "dundron". In many western countries as synonym of "Dendrarium" is used the term "Arboretum", which originates from the Latin word for tree: "arbor".


   "Dendrarium Vitosha” is a botanical garden where you can see many plant species, typical for the area. It's located just after Boyana neighborhood on the right side of the road,leading to the Golden Bridges.


     It is also a park. There you will find a small lake, surrounded by wooden benches, where you can have a nice picnic far away from the stress in the big city. In 2004 in the "Dendrarium Vitosha” was built a sport infrastructure, known today as "The rope garden". There is an instructor, who assists and supervises the crossing of the rope bridges to guarantee the safety of the children. 


     And last, but not least "Dendrarium" Vitosha is also a very nice place to hold your child's birthday party :)


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Vitosha Nature Park

        Vitosha Nature Park is the first park in Bulgaria and on the Balkan Peninsula and it's also the perfect place to escape from the hot weather in Sofia during the weekend! Can't wait until Saturday... :)



Monday, May 2, 2016

London - Old and New


I just love the contrast between the old and the new architecture! And the sunny days :)
London, UK



Thursday, April 28, 2016

Natural Easter Egg Dyes - Expectations vs results


     Let me continue my previous post dedicated to the natural Easter egg dyes and my plan for this year's Easter eggs. I have to say that there were several surprises compared to my original expectations.

      Here are the lessons learned:
  • Red Onion - If you remember I was expecting to get brown and/or red color and I am happy to say that the result was exactly as expected! To get rich color you need to boil the eggs together with the red onion peels or to put them in the water while it's still hot. You can still use the water after that to dye the eggs and the color will be still lovely but less rich. 
  • As per the yellow onion - Here the expectation was to get green and/or yellow color. Well, as you can see from the below photo, I actually got orange color which was a pleasant surprise. 



  • Red Cabbage - Here I was expecting blue and/or purple color and it turned out correct! In order to get the color, you need to boil the red cabbage leaves first and then to cover the egg with them and leave it like this until you get the color that you like. In this way you will get this nice effect that you can see from the below photo :) You also can use just the colored water to dye your Easter eggs and to get an even color.



  • The same for the turmeric - I got nice yellow color exactly as I was expecting. But you need to put the eggs in hot water, otherwise the yellow won't be as rich as you would like it to be (you can see the difference between the two yellow eggs in the photo below).
  • As per the tea, where I was expecting brown color, and the Carrot, where I was expecting yellow and/or orange, I got grey color at the end. Maybe I did something wrong or I used the wrong kind of tea... not sure :)



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Parks & gardens in Sofia - "The Bells" (Kambanite) Park

      The Kambanite (The Bells) park and the monument were created and dedicated to the children from all over the world during the Communist period. For several years it was totally neglected. Fortunately in 2010 the park has been restored and today we can once again enjoy the ringing of the bells (or at least to the ones that are still standing as unfortunately some of the bells are now missing).



Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Natural Easter Egg Dyes

     Let me show you first our last year "Natural Easter Egg Dyes" experiment: 


     I think that the colors came up very well and this is why this year I've decided to use only natural dyes and to add some more colors. And yes, I know that the Orthodox Christian Easter is on 1st of May and that there is still a lot of time. But does that mean that I can not start planning in advance? No, it doesn't :)

     There are many articles in Internet giving you some interesting tips on the different methods and natural colors dyes recipes that you can try at home. Some of them can really inspire you like this one for example -  link.
 
    So here is my plan: the list of products, which I intend to use and the colors I am expecting to get as a final result:
  • Red Cabbage - Blue/Purple
  • Tea - Brown
  • Red Onion - Brown/Red
  • Turmeric - Yellow
  • Yellow Onion - Green/Yellow
  • Carrot - Yellow/Orange
  To be continued...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"Bulgarian Martenitsa" Workshop :)

      Last Saturday Neli and I decided to spend the day creating "Martenitsi" for us and our friends and family.

     We searched the Internet for ideas for some more traditional designs and we picked the ones that we found most inspiring :)
 

     It's clear - we are not professionals but still, we had a lot of fun and at the end we were very happy with the results. See the working process in photos:

"Wooden spoon" Project:




"Salt and pepper" Project:




"Bulgarian spindle" Project:




Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bulgarian cuisine: Kazanlak donuts

     If you want to enjoy a traditional Bulgarian breakfast, you need to try some of the big variety of fried or baked pastry.

    One of my favorites is "Kazanlushki ponichki" - small, deep fried donuts with sugar, marmalade, or other topping.

     As far as the story goes, the name of the donuts is coming from the Bulgarian city of the roses - Kazanluk. Đ¢here was manufactured the first machine, that they use to make these delights. But who cares about the name? :) The important thing is, that they are so tasty, that you definitely need to try them.

     And if you are not in Bulgaria, that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy their sweet taste. Here you can fine a recipe for Kazanlak donuts and try to make them yourself.



Photos by Nelly Tsonova
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